Legislators Make it Harder For Women to Choose Abortion
Arkansas recently passed a bill further limiting the rights women have over abortion and their own bodies. The Arkansas Final Disposition Rights Act of 2009 states that family members have to agree on what to do with the deceased person’s body. Now, the recently passed bill, H.B. 1566, includes aborted fetuses in that Act. This means both mother and father must agree on what to do with the fetal remains. And, bonus, this applies to women impregnated by abusive partners and sexual assault victims. It’s hard enough confronting a rapist; now imagine confronting a rapist to ASK permission to remove something forced upon you.
Essentially, this is a sneaky way for pro-life legislators to “make it harder” for women to access their basic human rights. As though life isn’t hard enough for a modern day woman, tack on the federal government poking their sticky fingers in the female uterus. Can’t we just 1) walk down the street without fearing sexual assault and 2) if we can’t have that, can we at least have a say over what path we want to take in life?
Many legislators say no. That doesn’t mean the fight is over. In fact, it’s just begun. The precedent set by Roe v. Wade makes abortion legal in the United States. However, states are still able to regulate/limit laws concerning abortion in their own jurisdiction. And in some places, their limits cross a blurry line. So gear up human rights activists, here is a list of the most violating abortion laws across America to be aware of.
So gear up human rights activists, here is a list of the most violating abortion laws across America.
Under the bill H.B. 494, a juvenile court may appoint a lawyer to represent the unborn child. For pregnant minors, the court must notify the district attorney and together they examine the girl and any witnesses to help the court make an informed decision. Oops, no one taught you safe sex and now you’re on a trial before creaky old men who don’t care about your life.
In 2013, Governor Rick Scott signed a law requiring that doctors perform emergency medical care if the baby is somehow born alive. Violating this law is punishable by 1 year in jail, or $1,000 fine, or both. Let’s be clear, every abortion case is different. Most states define legal abortions within 24 weeks of pregnancy. However, some women whose lives are in danger because of the pregnancy can now face criminal charges if they don’t proceed with caution.
Abortion is prohibited if the fetus is defined as viable, that which can live outside the womb. This doesn’t mean in the second or third trimester. Basically, the fetus is viable if there are signs of growth. The non-viable fetus would be something like an ectopic pregnancy and dangerous to the mother’s health. Raped and impregnated at 19? Doesn’t matter, the fetus appears healthy.
Kansas has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the United States. Women must undergo a waiting period of 24 hours. During this time, a woman must receive counseling and notification of services, as well as consent to a mandatory fetal ultrasound. Women are forced to listen to a fetal heartbeat before continuing the procedure. This consent is also called “biased counseling” because they intend to make women less likely to terminate their pregnancy.
The laws defining illegal abortions outnumber the laws defining a legal, safe abortions in this state. Only a medical doctor can determine that an abortion is necessary using their clinical judgment. The choice is not with the woman actually pregnant in Kentucky, it’s with the physician examining you.
Basically, just forget about it. The best hope for a woman to have when deciding to get an abortion in Louisiana is to also get a lawyer. This is how an illegal abortion is defined in the state’s laws: “Deliberate termination of human pregnancy after fertilization of a female ovum, after viability by any person, even the woman herself, with intent other than to produce a live birth, remove ectopic pregnancy, or remove dead fetus.”
Abortion may be legal according to the United States federal government and Roe v. Wade, but Louisiana says #TheSouthWillRiseAgain.
Speaking of restrictive abortion laws, how about states who just doesn’t give women access to the choice at all? As of 2014, Mississippi has only one abortion clinic in the entire state. Likewise, hospitals ignore requests to grant their physicians the ability to perform abortions. Wait, there’s a silver lining! A legal abortion is possible if pregnancy is a result of rape. Oh, but they force women to listen to the fetal heartbeat anyway.
Where other states define an abortion is legal within 20-24 weeks of pregnancy (depending on the state), North Dakota has a different time limit. The procedure is legal within the first 12 weeks, then only legal if necessary to save the mother’s life. Some women may not even know they’re pregnant before it’s too late.
Women are required to receive state-directed counseling to discourage abortion. For minors without parental consent, the girl is required to go to court where a judge will decide what’s in the best interest for the fetus. If the court denies the young girl an abortion, which is most likely to happen, they will identify the father and he will be ordered to share the cost. That’s fair, right? Well, if he can’t meet the monetary demands, which is most likely to happen, again, then the state may pay for counseling, prenatal care, delivery, and post-natal care. Complain about women living off welfare? But not giving them a choice to avoid living off welfare? Yes, that makes so much sense.
Last, but certainly not least, in fact, certainly the most restrictive, there’s Texas. Here’s a summary of a summary of the definition of illegal abortion under this state’s laws. The full version would be too long. (1) Destroys the vitality or life of the child which otherwise would have been born alive; (2) act performed after pregnancy with intent to cause termination of pregnancy; (3) done with public funds; after 20 weeks. There’s more, but it all points to one thing: it’s basically impossible to get an abortion in Texas without going to prison for five years. Plus, Texas does this: “Women must undergo ultrasound, be shown the image, and have the ultrasound described to her.”
Women’s Rights Are Human Rights
In the constant fight towards women’s rights, there remain many advocates and legislators creating laws making it difficult for women to make their own decisions. “My body, my choice” is a chant heard, and yet still unheard, across America. A good number of states have set laws and regulations to provide safe abortion procedures. These include California, New Hampshire, New York, and Oregon to name a few. And though each state is different, federally, abortions are legal. The only reason for states to create such violating laws is to push their religious agenda.
Many believe the female’s private body should not be controlled by laws. Is there a law restricting a man from vasectomy? Are there counselors and doctors forcing men to listen to a fetal heartbeat to sway his decision according to their beliefs? This is what it could be, they’ll say. Doesn’t matter that you’re too young, you have no money, the father/mother will leave, and you’ll live off tax payer’s dollars, and then get harassed by taxpayers saying “you shouldn’t have had the baby then.” Or even worse, “live with the consequences,” even if that consequence was forced upon by rape.
Laws that make abortions difficult for women will cause them to turn to other outlets, which can be more dangerous. Let’s face it, they’re not going to stop. Abortions will continue no matter how many pro-life protesters wave signs at women in front of Planned Parenthood. Laws should keep citizens safe, not drive them to hide and find alternative means.
Click here to read further on each state’s laws concerning abortions.